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How to Report a Drunk Driver in Washington

March 27, 2024Car Accidents

In Washington, the fear of encountering a drunk driver is a real and pressing issue. Although it is incredibly unsafe to get behind the wheel while impaired, many motorists ignore the warnings and convince themselves that they are sober enough to drive home. Too often, these decisions result in devastating consequences.

In moments like these, understanding how to respond could very well save lives. If you notice a driver who may be impaired, it is essential to report them to the police as soon as possible and keep a safe distance from the vehicle.

What Are the Signs That Someone Is Driving Drunk?

Identifying a drunk driver can be the first step in preventing a potential tragedy. The signs are often unmistakable; if you notice any of the following, the motorist may be driving drunk or is otherwise impaired:

  • Swerving or drifting between lanes
  • Abrupt or illegal turns without signaling
  • Inconsistent speed, either too fast or too slow
  • Failure to obey traffic lights and signs
  • Erratic braking or stopping without cause
  • Straddling the center line or lane markings
  • Tailgating, or following another vehicle too closely
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Making unusually wide turns
  • Exhibiting signs of aggression or frustration
  • Using the wrong signals, such as signaling one way and turning another

Call 911 Immediately If You Suspect a Drunk Driver

If you observe a vehicle displaying any of the above behaviors or any other signs of impaired driving, it is important to call 911 immediately. When you do, try to provide comprehensive details such as the vehicle’s make, model, and color, the license plate number, and the direction in which it is traveling. This will help the authorities track down and apprehend the driver as soon as possible.

Keep Your Distance and Do Not Follow the Driver

While it is natural to want to keep the vehicle in sight for reporting purposes, your safety should be your top priority. Keep a safe distance from the erratic driver and avoid the impulse to follow them closely.

Engaging directly or attempting to stop the vehicle could escalate the situation, placing you and others in greater danger. The best course of action is to maintain your distance and allow law enforcement professionals to handle the situation. They are trained to deal with these incidents effectively and safely.

What to Do If You Are Injured by a Drunk Driver in Washington

In the event that you are injured by a drunk driver, know that the law is on your side. Not only can the driver face criminal charges for their actions, but you can also file an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for the harm that you have suffered. Your claim can help pay for losses such as medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

In the aftermath of the collision, call 911 if you have not done so already. Seek medical attention, even if your injuries appear minor, and gather evidence if you can. Then, contact a Washington drunk driving car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and begin your journey to justice.